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How to Change an Alternator on a Ford Ranger

by Jeffrey Caldwell; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Socket set

  • Masking tape

  • Marker

The alternator on a Ford Ranger is a small electrical generator mounted to the engine. Powered via a drive belt connected to the crankshaft, the alternator powers all of the electrical accessories on your vehicle, such as the stereo, headlights and windshield wipers. The alternator is also responsible for keeping the battery fully charged, so that your vehicle will start easily. If you're having trouble starting your Ford Ranger, or you notice the headlights are dim, it may be time to replace your alternator.

Removing the Alternator

Open the hood.

Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal. Loosen the retaining bolt, using a wrench. Then pull the clamp off the terminal.

Loosen, but do not remove the bolts that connect the alternator to the engine bracket, using a socket.

Slide the alternator towards the engine.

Pull the drive belt off the pulley.

Label and disconnect the electrical leads on the back of the alternator, using masking tape and a marker.

Unscrew the bolts that attach the alternator to the engine bracket, using a socket.

Carefully lift the alternator away from the engine.

Installing the Alternator

Lower the alternator into position in the engine bracket.

Screw in the bolts that connect the alternator to the engine bracket. Do not tighten.

Connect the engine wiring harness to the alternator, by pushing the plastic electrical connectors into the back of the alternator.

Slide the drive belt onto the alternator pulley.

Slide the alternator away from the engine until the drive belt is tight.

Tighten the mounting bolts, using a socket.

Connect the ground cable to the negative battery terminal. Slide the clamp over the terminal. Then tighten the retaining bolt using a wrench.

Tips

After the new alternator is installed, make sure the battery is fully charged before starting the engine. Failure to do so may damage the new alternator.

Warnings

Always disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal before servicing the vehicle’s electric system. Failure to do so could cause short circuits and electric shock.

References

About the Author

Jeffrey Caldwell has been a freelance writer for over five months and has published over 250 articles on websites like eHow and Trails.com. Caldwell writes articles on a wide range of topics including travel, camping and automotive mechanics. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Millersville University.

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